19 July 2005

BREAKING NEWS: Bush to announce Supreme Court nominee tonight at 9:00 PM

CNN is reporting that President George W. Bush will announce his choice for the United States Supreme Court tonight at 9:00 PM.

UPDATE (4:51 PM): Sources confirm that Judge Edith Brown Clement, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, will not be President Bush's selection to replace current Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Judge Clement, an ultra-conservative jurist, received a call this afternoon saying that the administration was choosing to go in a "different direction."

Does this mean the moderate-to-liberal Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez will get the nod?

Expect a Supreme Court nominee either today or tomorrow

As the situation regarding Valerie Plame heats up, many expect President George W. Bush to change the subject by naming a nominee to the United States Supreme Court very soon.

Following an ABC poll yesterday showing that only 25% of Americans believe that the White House is cooperating with the investigation of the leak of a CIA operative and that 75% of Americans believe Karl Rove, Bush's Deputy Chief of Staff, should be fired if it is learned he leaked the name of a CIA agent, the Bush administration desperately needs a distraction. The White House hopes that a new headline will remove this scandal from the news.

Expect a major announcement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court very soon!

Smith campaign experiences setback

State Senator Rod Smith, who is campaigning for governor as a tough on crime, law and order candidate, is now being forced to answer questions about an alleged rape that occurred on the University of Florida campus in 1999 that he refused to prosecute when he was the county prosecutor. Smith, who has made his tenure as a former Alachua County State Attorney a central theme of his campaign, now sees his most valuable asset possibly becoming his greatest liability.

In 1999, an exotic dancer named Lisa Gier King, along with another dancer, was paid to perform at the Delta Chi fraternity house on the UF campus. After the performance, the one woman left, but King stayed at the fraternity house. The following morning, King was found half naked in the front yard of another fraternity house, where she asked a student to ''hold me,'' because "they raped me.'' The police initially investigated the complaint, but eventually arrested King for filing a false report.

Rod Smith, then the Alachua County State Attorney, dropped the charge against King and charged six fraternity members with misdemeanors. The complaint from King and the campus chapter of the National Organization of Women is that Smith did not go far enough. No one was charged with the alleged rape of King.

Smith claims that the case was not one that any reasonable prosecutor would pursue. Following the accusation, a videotape emerged showing King in very provocative situations, including one where she attempts to shave the genitals of the man she later accused of rape, Mike Yahraus. The Delta Chi men titled the video, "The raping of a white-trash, crackhead bitch," but it is not clear if a rape actually exists on the video.

Smith refuses to dispute King's accusation. He simply says that the video creates enough reasonable doubt that a conviction against Yahraus would likely be impossible. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) agrees with Smith. The current State Attorney Bill Cervone, a Republican, and Jeanne Singer, who head the office's sex-crimes unit at the time of the alleged crime agree that Smith did the right thing by not bringing a rape charge.

Still, this issue may prove to be a major problem for the Smith campaign. King's version of events will be featured prominently in a new documentary, scheduled for release this November, entitled Raw Deal: A Question of Consent.

While the Republican Party is completely beholden to the religious right and big business, the Democratic Party in recent years has become a collection of various special interest groups, including feminists. While the experts claim that Smith was right in his decision to not prosecute Yahraus, the feminist groups may not be as easy to convince. Expect one of Smith's opponents to throw gasoline on this fire.

17 July 2005

Mehlman reinforces GOP's poor record with black voters

Read this post at AmericanpolitiX.com.